Gravel firm will pay tab for Granite Falls roadwork

GRANITE FALLS — A gravel company will construct and pay to widen an intersection at Alder Avenue and Pioneer Street, under an agreement reached with the city.

Large gravel trucks can’t make their way through the intersection without moving into other lanes, officials said in January at a three-day public hearing in Everett.

The widening work and improvements include sidewalks, curbs and gutters. They are part of an agreement between the company, Menzel Lake Gravel, and the city. The agreement follows a March 10 Snohomish hearing examiner decision that determined environmental impacts caused by a proposed expansion of the gravel pit were not adequately addressed.

Menzel Lake Gravel is located on county land about a mile outside of city limits. Owner Rob Hild applied to expand his business by 232 acres in November 2008. Of the total 283 acres, 91 are expected to be part of the mining operation while the rest is preserved.

Council members voted 4-0 Wednesday night to approve an agreement with Menzel Lake that resolves concerns over the size of the intersection and the impact of up to 200 more truck trips per day on city streets.

“I think it’s time to put this thing to bed,” Councilman Josh Golston said.

Under the agreement, Menzel Lake Gravel will construct and pay for work to widen the city intersection. That work includes the purchase of up to 1,000 square feet of right-of-way from a private property owner.

The city will also receive 6 cents per cubic yard of material brought to the gravel site using city roads and 7 cents per ton of material that leaves the site on city roads beginning Jan. 1, 2012. This is one cent per cubic yard less and two cents per ton more than the existing agreement calls for, according to city attorney Paul McMurray.

The fees are scheduled to increase by a cent each every seventh year that mining operations continue on the site. The city will use the money for the maintenance or improvement of the roadway traveled by the trucks.

Mayor Haroon Saleem said Thursday that the city will do whatever it can to help Menzel Lake Gravel acquire the private property needed to make the roadway improvements. The agreement is a good one, he said.

“I’m glad it got resolved,” Saleem said. “All the hard feelings are behind us now.”

A hearing examiner is scheduled to decide whether to allow him to expand his mining operation on Aug. 4, Hild said. He added he is happy to have reached an agreement with the city.

“They showed they’re behind us with a 4-0 vote,” he said.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491;

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